(HUTTO, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s Culinary Arts program at the East Williamson County campus hosted four seniors from John B. Connally High School in Austin for a cooking lesson on Thursday, Nov. 30.
It marked the first time that the high school had sent students to work alongside the college students at the campus in Hutto.
“I hope they get to learn how TSTC rocks,” said Chasey Davis, an instructor in TSTC’s Culinary Arts program. “I hope they learn how we teach our students what the industry looks like.”
The high school students take culinary arts classes under their instructor, Bradley Harmon.
“Your students have already accepted them,” Harmon said of TSTC. “You are building a good environment here.”
The college and high school students prepared a Mexican banquet-style buffet that was free to the TSTC campus community. Some of the prepared dishes included roasted meat, Mexican rice, charro beans, and chocolate and strawberry cream flan.
Francisco Delatorre, of Round Rock, is a third-semester Culinary Arts student at TSTC. His role was to oversee the food’s preparation and help create the dessert.
“They are fast learners,” Delatorre said about the Connally students. “As soon as you tell them to do something, they do it.”
Connally senior Nicholas Shepard has taken culinary classes for four years. He said he chose to take the classes because it looked like fun and was a good way to relieve stress.
Shepard assisted in making the buffet’s cucumber water and tortillas.
“I wanted to experience a higher class of kitchen and more professionalism in the kitchen,” he said.
As Shepard and his classmates rolled out dough to form tortillas, Connally senior Elaine Mitchell was frying them on a large griddle as a TSTC student looked on. She said she was excited to get experience in a professional kitchen and work with people she did not know.
“I’m proud of these guys,” Mitchell said about her classmates. “They are really doing well.”
Mitchell said one of her favorite features of the TSTC program’s kitchen was the dishwashing system.
Harmon said he would reinforce what his students learned at TSTC by talking to them about what went well in the kitchen and any improvements they would make.
Connally High School is in the Pflugerville Independent School District.
Registration continues for the spring semester at TSTC. For more information, go to tstc.edu.